Aussie researchers reverse Alzheimer's memory loss in mice

SYDNEY, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Many dementia patients suffer the loss of ability to form memory, and now a new treatment tested on mice has shown that memory loss associated with Alzheimer's can be reversed, even at the advanced stage of the disease, Australian researchers said on Thursday.

A potential treatment for humans based on this research could become reality in less than 10 years, the researchers said.

According to researchers, a natural enzyme in the brain known as p38gamma, when activated by this treatment, can modify a protein such that it prevents the development of Alzheimer's disease symptoms.

Co-leader of the research, Professor Lars Ittner from Australia's Macquarie University Dementia Research Center said they made their discovery based on a previous gene therapy initiated back in 2016.

"The therapy is about reconstituting lost p38 activity in dementia brains," Ittner explained.

"When we set out to develop this gene therapy we expected it to halt progression of dementia, but we were not expecting to see that it not only halts it, it completely reverted the memory loss that was already there when we started therapy."

On top of that, recent progress suggests it may also be effective for other forms of dementia, including frontotemporal dementia which presents in much younger patients in their 40s and 50s.

The team are now working on preparing the therapy for clinical trials and are hopeful it could be changing millions of lives within the next 10 years.

"This could even be as close as a five year timeline for us to see the success we have seen in mice," said Ittner.

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